This week was a pretty good week, we taught the most lessons we have ever taught and one family we are teaching got out to church. I hope they enjoyed it! It was a great day at church. One of the speakers in Sacrament talked a little bit about Elder Hollands talk from this last conference (btw thanks for sending it to me :D ) but anyway I think I am starting to learn more about having courage and doing whats right even when it is hard. I still have plenty more learning to do though. In Gospel Principles the lesson was on the priesthood. We usually have it in the baptismal room, but another ward had a meeting in there yesterday so we had in on the stage. We were a few minutes late and I made my way through the curtain from the gym onto the stage only to realize I was right in the front of the class with the teacher haha, everyone got a good kick out of it :). One person there talked about some very powerful experiences she had with the priesthood. A long time ago she had been diagnosed with cancer and fought it for 7 years going through all the treatments, and one day as she was in the hospital they told her she would have to go into emergency surgery again. She told them she didn't want to until she had a priesthood blessing, but they told her that they needed to do the surgery urgently. She tried to contact her husband for a blessing but couldn't get a hold on them. And then two missionaries walked by and gave her a blessing. After that, she made a great recovery. The Priesthood is the power of God given to man to act for the salvation of God's children, and at this time, it truly blessed her life. An in Elders Quorum we read the talk given two conferences again by Gerald Causse, about how no one in a stranger in the church. It would be amazing if wards really could be that fellowshipping. Sometimes we get caught on which bench is ours and feel the need to stay there. But I am sure that so many missionaries when they finally get someone to come to church are hoping and praying that someone will walk up and friendship them or merely introduce themselves to them. It is what the Savior would want. Someone in Elder's Quorum also a made the comment about the scripture:
"34 Then shall the King say unto them on his aright hand, Come, ye bblessed of my Father, cinherit the dkingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an ahungred, and ye bgave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a cstranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye avisited me: I was in bprison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee asick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have adone it unto one of the bleast of these my cbrethren, ye have done it unto me."
It is amazing to wonder that when we see those people that need us, we are doing it unto the Lord. The man in Elders Quorum said that if we saw Christ on the street of course we would go and help him, but others we don't. But truly when we help others, we have done it unto Christ."
I wanted to talk about some of my studies as well. One is in Luke 12:7:
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
The hairs of our heads are numbered. God doesn't forget about us. This scripture just makes me think about how the Lord says, "Every soul is great in the eyes of God." All the people we meet everyday no matter how unkind they may be are brothers and sisters, and God cares about them just as much as he does you and I. Sometimes I try to remind myself that when my pride gets inflated and my ego goes up and I turn inward and think only of myself. In my studies I thought of this scripture:
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
You have to lose your life to find it. If you want your life to change and if you want your nature to change, than lose your life in the service of God and of others. I have been trying to do that a little more.
Another scripture that was awesome that was talked about a lot in this past zone conference was:
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was aafraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
This is when the apostle were out in the ship and they saw Christ walking on the water towards them. (That reminds me, I saw a funny bumper sticker that said "If you feel like you are perfect, then try and walk on water." Haha it is true) The Lord bids him to come out on the water. A couple important things happen here. Peter has the faith (trust in God) to step out of the boat. This in and of itself is a miracle! And he continues to walk on water, another miracle because of Peters faith. All this time he was focus on Christ, but then as he looks around and takes his eyes of Christ he sees the "wind bosterous" and begins to fear and doubt, which causes him to start to sink. And as he cries out for help the Lord is there to help him back up, to save him from drowning. Miracles can happen when we have faith. And when we truly have faith we are focused on Christ. And then miracles happen in our own lives. We step out of the boat in a sense and start walking on water, or God helps us do things that there is no way we could do without him. But then, at least in my own life I see the trials and tribulations and the storms of life all around me and look away from Christand I doubt. But every time I do lose faith and doubt, God is right there willing to help me back up and not let me sink. If we can just trust Him, then we don't have to worry if the wind is boisterous or anything else that happens. I think that is why he said these words in D&C 122:
4 And although their influence shall cast thee into trouble, and into bars and walls, thou shalt be had in ahonor; and but for a smallbmoment and thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce clion, because of thy righteousness; and thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever. 5 If thou art called to pass through atribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in bperils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea; 6 If thou art aaccused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to bprison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like cwolves for the blood of the lamb; 7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the apit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the bdeep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to chedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of dhell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give theeeexperience, and shall be for thy good. 8 The aSon of Man hath bdescended below them all. Art thou greater than he? 9 Therefore, ahold on thy way, and the priesthood shall bremainwith thee; for their cbounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy ddaysare known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore,efear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.
If we can just trust God, then all the trials and hardships we are called to pass through will be for our good. If we can learn to always keep our eyes on Him and not lose faith then Christ will see us through. We just need to learn to trust Him through the hard times. I need to learn to trust Him no matter what.
Anyway, I am running out of time but I love you all a lot and I hope that some of these words will help you guys through this next week. :) Thanks for all you do for me! Have a great week!!
It sounds like you guys all had a pretty good easter! Mine was pretty good as well. :) Thanks for all the cards and packages! I hope you guys watched peter cottontail and then looked for all the places where the easter bunny could had the baskets.Sundaymorning I got up and started looking all over my apartment for mine. After about 30 mins, Elder Short had to finally break the news about the easter bunny to me :/..... haha. But really Easter started out slow but ended up being pretty good.
This week we had zone conference on tues over in kirtland! We were there for almost 8 hours but it was probably one of the best zone conferences I have ever been to. Our mission president had just gotten back from a big meeting with Elder Bednar and he had a lot of amazing things to teach. There was various things taught about but the main things that I got out of it was about faith. He talked about faith looking backward, future, and present. We have faith for the future knowing that there is a loving god that cares about us and if we do our best he is watching over us no matter what happens. We can look back and see the times that we exercised our faith and did something and how the Lord blessed us because of it. (He talked about keeping a miracle book to write all those experiences down) So when we have faith to press forward in the future and when we can see and remember all the times we exercised our faith and we say the hand of the lord, it gives us the strength and trust to exercise our faith in the present and do the things the Lord asks. He made an interesting observation that struck me. He talked about if missionaries are just hanging out at members houses not working at all for hours, then maybe they are doing that because truly inside they lack faith, or they let their faith lie dormant. If I truly trust in a loving perfect God, who knows so much better than I do what I need, then I should be able to know that when he asks me to read or pray or keep any commandment there is a reason for it that I might be able to see just then. If I have geniune faith, I should exercise it and be able to do these things.
On wednesday we met with an awesome navajo family! (It makes my day whenever I see shima's cause they are the nicest old people ever!) but anyway, we were teaching lessons 3 which is the gospel of jesus christ. We taught faith and repentance and then ended up watching a mormon message "The Savior Wants to Forgive" it is a great one if you haven't seen it. We also pulled weeds this week for an awesome younger couple here. Sometimes I think of all the respnsibility that comes after the mission and it is worrisome, college job family etc, but families like that just I guess build my faith in God that he will help us through whatever we need to do even if I have no experience doing it.
Saturday was an awesome day as well. We had one of the zone leaders Elder Waldo come to our area. We worked hard and handed out a few book of mormons and had some good lessons. There was awesome a baptism for 5th ward that we went to that was an awesome experience. Sometimes when I see baptisms it just seems so simple to me. I might think, is this really that powerful? It is so simple, so is this truly what helps us get into the Kingdom of Heaven? I believe it is. I am not going to say I know, but I believe. In 1st Nephi 17:41 it talks about the Children of Israel who got bit by all the serpents, and how moses held up a brass serpent to them and it says this about it, " 41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they ahardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying bserpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be chealed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the dsimpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished. " They thought it was too simple a way to be healed so they didn't look! They hardened their hearts and wouldn't. I think many a times I have hardened my heart to simple things that would have helped. Anyway as we were trying to meet new people and trying some potentials that we had we came across two middle aged women working on their yard. We asked if we could help them and then also asked them if they had ever talked to the missionaires before. One of them started saying how she used to be lds but became baptist and said she took classes on the Lds church and she didn't believe what we believed.. (Ok side note, so I kinda learned on my mission that I have a slight temper depending on the day so I know I should be a lot kinder, and everything she had said up to that point was fine) but then she went on to say that we only believe the Jesus Christ was a great prophet......... and the other lady brought out becoming Gods and creating our owns planets and all that good stuff. I held my tongue because that day I was about ready to pull out my bible and lay it down (we have gotten that before and that is all fine, it was just the way they said it ha) , and Luckily Elder Short and Elder Waldo handled it very kindly and explained what we believe. I need to be more Christlike I know, haha I still have a lot to work on :) ) But anyway of course we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We believe He is the Savior, the only perfect person to walk on this Earth. We believe He atoned for the sins of all people, and also all their sicknesses, pains, and hardships in this life. He knows exactly how we feel. Because He rose again and performed the Atonement, there is hope for all of us. And now the God part. We believe Gods plan for us, our Heavenly Father's plan for us is for us to become like Him. Just like Dad wants us to have all he has and probably even more, our Heavenly Father wants the best for us and that is why we came to Earth. As for the "planets" that is nowhere in our doctrine, but people can speculate all they want. I don't know what all God wants for each of us, but I am sure we can't even begin to understand all he wants for us anyway. I just believe what it says in the bible, in Romans 8:17, 17 And if children, then heirs; aheirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we bsuffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
I don't know all what it means to be joint heirs with Christ, but I believe that God has great blessing awaiting the faithful. Anyway, enough for my venting session.
On Easter we able to get Matt and his daughter out to Church. They are an awesome family. They had talks on the Ressurrection, which were really good. We had a nice Easter dinner at the Dollars and they also gave us a nice Easter Bag full of good treats. We went to the hospital and gave a blessing to one of our investigators and also as we drove around at night before we were about to go in Sunday night, and decided to go visit an older man in the ward. We told him happy easter to which he told us to stay right there and then left and came back and told us his wife wanted a blessing. She had just gotten out of the hospital after being in 55 days. I think they definitely appreciated the visit and the blessing. Bro Wood kept on saying how it was just amazing that we had felt to come here. He was so surprised that we had just shown up. I believe the Lord had a hand in that. Other people might say that that was only a coincidence. To that I say, there can only be so many coincidences before you realize what truly is happening.
Anyway, I love you guys and hope you have a stellar week!!! Let me know how is goes. Love ya!
This week was a harder week but all ended up well. This week we had a lesson with a less active member and she brought another man who wanted to learn more about the church so we started teaching him. It was pretty awesome and he said he likes to read so that was exciting. Anyway, this last week I kinda ended up getting sick, and stayed in for a couple days. Being sick as a missionary is pretty rough. I have been watching Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration a lot lately. I enjoy that show a lot. What were your favorite conference talks? I am excited to get the new ensign so I can read through them again. Elder Short is hilarious as usually, and super hard working. He did the rubix cube in 18 secs this last week while I was sick, so props to him haha. Hmm I can't think of what else to say. I need to be better about planning for my emails so I can write some long inspiring emails to you guys :). Thinking about college afterward I am not quite sure yet what I want to do. I'll have to think about it. I was thinking about transfering up to the U because for sure that would be cheaper and then I could spend more time with all you guys instead of being away from home all the time. I am broke haha, so don't know if I will try to start spring semester or not or work and save money and then maybe start in the summer. Depending on that is whether I would want to come back a few weeks or so early to start school. What do you guys think you should do? I will still be thinking about it!
Well I love you guys a ton! Thanks for everything you do for me! Have a great week! You are in my prayers!
I hope you guys are doing well! Sorry this is probably going to be another short email. Conference was really good though! I hope you were all able to watch it! Probably my favorite talks were from Elder Holland and President Eyring! Look them up if you haven't been able to already, they are awesome. There was also a baptism this past week that we went to that was pretty inspiring. The Elder talked about how before he had came to that specific area he had a feeling that he would help bring two people closer to Christ and that day they were baptizing two people. It was pretty amazing. I will try to write a letter again this next week! I hope you guys are doing well and I love all of you! Have a great pday!!!